Anyone who’s been in New Testament believing circles very long has heard the scripture that begins “Don’t worry about anything.” (Some translations say “Be anxious for nothing” or similar.) It goes on to say that if we pray instead of worrying, God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds. There is a much bigger truth in the very same context that is usually missed. Actually, I’ve never even heard it mentioned.
When originally written, the Bible did not contain chapter and verse numbers like those in the versions we have today. It is therefore not imperative that this passage should start as it’s always taught. It could begin four words earlier, with a phrase attributed to the previous verse. This would completely change the meaning of “Don’t worry about anything.” Those word are “The Lord is near.” The scripture then says “The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything.”
It’s presumptuous to tell me not to worry. Frankly, I’m incapable. Life is too filled with troubles. Even the prayers that I’m encouraged to offer can seem to just go out into a big, thick cloud.
Assure me that the Lord is near, however, and the situation changes. Now I know He hears me when I cry out. And if things get especially bad, He’s right there to do whatever it takes to see me through.
Overcoming worry is not something I find easy. But knowing that the all-powerful King of the universe is close by makes it a whole lot more possible.